3 ways to save $1,000.00 in a year

Save $1,000 in 12 months

When I was 16, all I wanted was the latest Jordans and a car to drive. Twenty years later, I’d rather have money saved in the bank than the latest gadget. A 2012 study by CreditDonkey.com found that nearly half of all Americans have less than $500 saved in the bank. The true numbers are probably worse than that. Why is this a problem? When emergencies happen, and we’ve all seen what Mayhem can do, you’ll have to charge up your credit cards or take out a high interest loan to get by. In his book, The Total Money Makeover, Dave Ramsey suggests that a fully funded emergency fund covers three to six months worth of income. If you don’t have any money saved, three to six months of income sound like a crazy number to get to. It’s not. You have to start with baby steps. That’s why Ramsey suggest that you start with a goal of $1,000. Here are three ways to get you to that goal in one year.

Just Do It

So if you do the math, $20 per week gets you to $1,040 in 52 weeks. If you get paid biweekly, that’s $40 out of each check. If you get paid semimonthly it’s $42 per check. What, I want you to just be disciplined and save the money? Yeah, just do it!

Brown Bag It

My wife and I eat out way too much. There are a lot of excuses that make us think it’s ok to spend the money. Whether it’s, “I’ve got a busy day and don’t have time to eat at home,” or my personal favorite, “I’m hungry,” we justify eating out pretty easily. If you’re eating fast food, you’re spending your $20 in three meals. If you’re sitting down to eat at a restaurant, you’re over $20 in two meals when you factor in the tip. So if all we need to do is save $20 per week, stop eating your money and start saving it. Make your lunch three days a week and 52 weeks later, you’ll be sitting on a grand in the bank.

Cut The Cord

I think sports fans will have the toughest time with this option. Trust me when I tell you that keeping track of your team is not as important as staying out of debt. Cut the cord and follow your team online. You can also buy a Roku or Apple TV and subscribe to a service like Hulu. You can watch most of the shows you watch on cable at a fraction of the cost. I know it’s a sacrifice. So what’s the payoff? You’ll save $80 – $100 per month and $1,000 in 12 months. If you want to turn the cable back on after that, go for it.

Saving isn’t easy but it’s necessary. Not having an emergency fund can ruin your credit and makes buying a car or house a lot more expensive because of higher interest rates. Have you downsized in some areas in order to save money for an emergency fund? Let us know about it in our comment section and we’ll include them when we update this post.

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george karl wins coach of the year, gregg popovich is still the best

Greg Popovich, Coach of the YearGeorge Karl was awarded the NBA Coach of the Year Award today. Karl did a great job with what everyone thought was an average Denver Nuggets team. He is a great coach and is deserving of the award. He’s been around a long time and he’s well respected around the league. This article by Henry Abbott explains why Karl won and why Gregg Popovich should win every year. Follow the link below to read the article.

The Best Coach in the NBA – TrueHoop Blog – ESPN.

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spurs v. warriors game 1: old dogs, new tricks

Spurs, Warriors, Game 1

Ok, I’ll admit that I couldn’t believe what I was seeing as the Spurs were down 16 with four minutes to go in the series opener against the Golden State Warriors. After the Warriors almost let game six slip away in their first round series with the Denver Nuggets, I knew a fourth quarter collapse was possible. Still, I had given up and was starting to rethink my prediction that the Spurs would beat the Warriors in five games. Then it happened: free throw, free throw, layup, layup, layup, Diaw for three!!!! A layup from Tony and it’s a three point game.

At this point, I’m jumping around the living room, putting on the championship belt, and screaming under my breath so I don’t wake up the four year old. Two overtimes later, I am ready to drive up to San Antonio, cruise downtown and spend the rest of the night high-fiving strangers.

Golden State can’t win the series without winning a game in San Antonio, something they haven’t done since February 14, 1997. If they were going to steal a game in San Antonio, game one was going to be their best chance. The Spurs looked terrible and were behind by double digits over and over throughout the game. Tim was sick, Tony wasn’t looking for his shot and Manu was way off until he won back the hearts of Spurs fans with his game winning three pointer. Even Pop seemed a little off of his game, waiting too long to adjust to a red hot Steph Curry.

And yet, with a 16 point lead late in the fourth quarter, the Warriors showed weakness where championship teams generally show strength. They couldn’t close out a game that they should have easily won. They barely held on to beat the Nuggets in game six of their first round series. In that game, they were up 18 with nine minutes to go. The Nuggets managed to cut that lead to two points with 11 seconds left. For the Warriors, they must have thought they were in some sort of Twilight Zone time continuum where they are forced to give up big double digit leads game after game.

For the Spurs, they have to feel a little lucky having won a game that looked to be out of hand. And while they may feel lucky, it wasn’t luck that won that game. In game five of the ’12 Western Conference Finals, the Spurs lost at home to Oklahoma City in a game they had to win. In that game, Kawhi Leonard, Gary Neal, and Danny Green went a combined 1-12 shooting and scored six points. Last night, the same trio scored 50 points on 18-34 shooting and 9-15 from beyond the arc. Kawhi locked up Steph Curry in the fourth quarter and the Spurs got stops when they needed them. This team is experienced and they are better. These tense, late game situations in the post season are still new for a young Warriors team with only five players on the roster who have playoff experience. Compare that to a Spurs team anchored by Tim, Tony and Manu who have 490 playoff appearances between the three of them.

Pop is one of the best if not the best coach in the game right now. The play he drew up in the second overtime was pretty amazing. I’m going to try and break it down the best I can.

San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors

Tony starts off at the baseline near the basket. Pop has Tony run through two screens as he breaks high. Two screens sure make the play look like it was drawn up for him. It wasn’t. Tony was wide open coming off the screens and Kawhi could have gotten the ball to Tony if the play had been drawn up that way. Pop designed the play to go to Diaw rolling towards the basket.

San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors

You can see here that Kawhi is looking to hit Diaw breaking towards the basket. If Manu’s man (the guy in the red box) stays home, Diaw gets an easy layup to put the Spurs up by one. Manu’s man made the right play when he decided to stay with Diaw. He didn’t have much of a choice. That left Manu wide open to redeem himself from a terrible shooting night and maybe get breakfast cooked by Pop this morning.

No one got any sleep last night. The Spurs couldn’t sleep because they realize they almost gave up home court to a dangerous team. The Warriors weren’t sleeping because they know they let the perfect opportunity to steal one slip out of their hands. I don’t think the Warriors will lay down but I’m fairly confident that this series isn’t going past five games. I wont be surprised if the Spurs sweep the Warriors. The Warriors simply aren’t as good as the Spurs. Curry can’t keep up this scoring pace throughout the entire series. The Spurs are more consistent on both sides of the floor and it’s unlikely that Tony will have another bad game like he did in the first 44 minutes of game 1. With all the criticism the Spurs get for being too old, I don’t think anyone in the playoffs would prefer to be too young.

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28 of the most creative business cards you’ll ever see

Creative Business CardsWhile many people don’t use them anymore, business cards are still one of the best ways to get your info to new clients. The look and feel of your business card communicates more than you think. In the link below, Creative Criminals shows off some of the most creative business cards you’ll ever see. Enjoy!

Take me to the cards.

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are you a member of the lazy generation?

This article highlights an interesting trend in the Gen Y/Millennial generation. Recent research shows that Gen Yers expect to have nice things without having to work for them. My experience with Millennials (I’m married to one) has been a lot different. She must be an anomaly. Don’t feel bad Gen Yers, it’s not your fault. The article puts the blame on your parents! You guys get away with everything.

While the teens are now more likely than boomers to want a vacation home, there is a “growing disconnect between their willingness to do the work to pay for these things,”

You can follow the link to read the article.

via Teens more materialistic, less likely to work hard, study says – Life Inc..

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Whitlock does it again

Jason Whitlock is one of my favorite sports writers. I like him because he’s not afraid to force the difficult discussions that most people find awkward and frightening. His column today on FoxSports.com was another wonderfully written piece. Here are a few excerpts that will either make you applaud or burn with anger. You can find the entire article at the link at the bottom of this post.

Soon, much sooner than you think, there will be a last call for alcohol at the Jason Collins party, the kind words of support will quit pouring in and the forces of regression will pick apart his exquisitely crafted story, question his motives and loudly protest that the gay man’s seat at the table of equality will lead to the ruin of this great nation.

In response to Tim Brando’s tweet: “Being a Christian White male over 50 that’s raised a family means nothing in today’s culture. The sad truth. Period” Whitlock had this to say…

Well, it does mean you’re more likely to get a loan from a bank, less likely to be profiled by the police, more likely to get a six-figure job babbling about sports, less likely to be accused of playing the race card when you clearly are, and more likely to be afforded every privilege and benefit of the doubt this country has to offer.

Finally, Whitlock talks about the road ahead for Jason Collins…

Every man or woman of importance must have critics and enemies. Jason Collins will have plenty, and their voices will get louder and more vicious in the coming days.

As always, Whitlock is polarizing. That’s what makes him great.

via Whitlock: While we praise Jason Collins for coming out, critics will grow – NBA News | FOX Sports on MSN.

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5 ways bankruptcy helps

Bankruptcy, Chapter 7, Chapter 13Over a million people filed for bankruptcy in 2012. While a small number of those cases were businesses filing for strategic reasons, the vast majority of the cases were regular people filing because of money problems. I meet with people everyday who are thinking about filing for bankruptcy. I can tell you that it is rarely an easy decision and most often is one made reluctantly. Ultimately, I think people realize that the relief that bankruptcy offers is relief they need. Here are five reasons why bankruptcy helps.

1. Creditors Stop Calling

Creditors must stop all attempts to collect a debt the minute someone enters into bankruptcy. In fact, not only can they not call or write, they can’t repossess a vehicle or foreclose on a house. No more embarrassing phone calls at work or early morning calls on Saturdays and Sundays.

2. Pay Creditors Back on Better Terms

If you qualify for a chapter 13, you are allowed to pay your debts back based on your income and what you can afford. We’ve had clients pay as little as 2% of their overall debt back during bankruptcy (the other 98% usually gets wiped out). Even when clients pay back 100% of their debts, they save a ton of money because interest stops accruing on all of those credit cards. The credit card companies no longer decide how they get paid.

3. Catch Up on Your Mortgage Over Time

If you get too far behind on your mortgage, the mortgage company goes from wanting you to pay a little something to get caught up, to wanting it all. They often wont except any payments once you get too far behind (they decide how far is too far). As part of a chapter 13 plan, as long as the client can afford to begin making their regular mortgage payments, they can catch up on the arrears over a period up to five years. The mortgage company can’t foreclose and the client gets a little breathing room.

4. A Fresh Start

Some people qualify for a chapter 7. Qualifications are based on income and a few other unique circumstances. If a client qualifies, they can discharge most if not all of their debt (Discharge is just a $20 lawyer word that means the client doesn’t have to pay back a debt). Clients are rarely able to discharge IRS debt or student loans. There are a few other things that can’t get discharged but most clients in chapter 7 get rid of their debt and start over.

5. You Can Sleep

Every client is different and bankruptcy helps them all in different ways. This is the one thing that I hear from almost all of them. For chapter 7 clients, it’s knowing that they are going to be able to walk away from their debts and start over. Even when clients are required to pay back some portion of their debt in a chapter 13, knowing they have a plan for the future brings peace of mind. Being able to sleep is always nice.

We’ve all dealt with money problems, myself included. Bankruptcy is one of many options you’ve got when you’re trying to get things back on track. It doesn’t matter whether you decide to stick to a tighter budget or get an extra job, try and start fixing the problem today. And feel free to give me a call if you need some help.

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30 great examples of WordPress websites

Great WordPress Websites

Home Page for Grindspaces.com

Lots of people think WordPress is just for bloggers. Think again. WordPress isn’t just a blogging tool and hasn’t been for a long time. Creativebloq highlights thirty amazing examples of WordPress websites. Check out the link below and let me know which is your favorite. The website pictured above happens to be mine.

30 great examples of WordPress websites | WordPress | Creative Bloq

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dallas cowboys draft recap

Dallas Cowboys First Pick of the 2013 NFL Draft Travis Frederick

Dallas Cowboys First Pick of the 2013 NFL Draft Travis Frederick

Round 1. Most Cowboys’ fans were hoping for a big pick here. It would have been nice to pick up Warmack, Flucker, or Sheldon Richardson but they weren’t there at 18 so Dallas traded the pick to San Francisco for their 31st pick and an extra third rounder. With the 31st pick overall, Dallas picked Travis Frederick, a center out of Wisconsin. For all the debate about this pick, the bottom line is that Frederick will be starting at either guard or center in 2013. He’ll be an upgrade at either position.

Round 2. At 47 overall, the Cowboys selected Gavin Escobar, a tight end out of San Diego State. This pick left us all scratching out heads. Escobar is a good player and Dallas is hoping that he turns out to be an Aaron Gonzales type tight end playing across from Witten. The problem is that Dallas should have drafted a defensive lineman or safety with this pick.

Round 3. With the 74th pick overall (the pick they got from the Niners), Dallas picked Terrance Williams. William is a dynamic wide receiver out of Baylor. He put up big numbers with RGIII throwing him the ball in 2011 and led the nation in receiving in 2012. He will be competing for the third wide receiver spot behind Dez and the oft injured Miles Austin.

Dallas used the 80th pick to select J.J. Wilcox, a strong safety from Georgia Southern. Wilcox is ultra athletic but he only has one year experience at safety. He will probably make strong contributions on special teams and has a chance to get on the field at safety.

Round 4. Dallas drafted B.W. Webb, a cornerback out of William & Mary with the 114th pick overall. Webb is really athletic and showed top agility at the NFL Combine. He should be on the field in dime packages. If Orland Scandrick doesn’t perform next year, look for Webb to be an option to take his place.

Round 5. At  151 overall, Dallas picked up Joseph Randle, a running back out of Oklahoma St. He’s got good speed and enough wiggle in the hips to make some guys miss in the secondary. Randle is really good in pass protection and will probably be Dallas’ third down back. He’s an acceptable replacement should Murray go down again.

Round 6. The Cowboys picked DeVonte Holloman with the 185th pick of the draft. This was their last pick in the draft. Holloman played a hybrid safety/linebacker position at South Carolina. The Cowboys are hoping this guy could be a Jay Ratliff type of late round find.

So how did the Cowboys do? After their second pick, we were all worried that Jerry was throwing darts at a board with random names on it. By the time they made their third pick, the picture was coming together and it was clear that the Cowboys had a plan. Jerry made this draft about getting Romo weapons and improving the running game. The Cowboys did that with their first three picks. A center with a mean streak, and a tight end and wide receiver that will keep defenses in the nickel makes for a better running attack. They picked up two solid weapons for Tony Romo and a for sure starter in Frederick. It looks like all of their draft picks should make the team and the top six will all make contributions in 2013. If Holloman turns out to be a late round sleeper, this draft could go down as the one that turned things around in a big way.

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who is Devonte Holloman

Devonte Holloman, Cowboys Draft PickThe Dallas Cowboys made a solid move with their sixth round and 185th pick overall. Dallas selected DeVonte Holloman, an outside linebacker out of South Carolina. He should make the team and it will be interesting to see if he can play his way onto the field soon.

DeVonte Holloman, OLB

Devonte Holloman Dallas Cowboys Draft PickPros. Holloman is a strong, versatile player. He can play linebacker and cover tight ends and slot receivers as well. He’s got big strong arms and is a sure tackler. He can rush the passer off the edge and he has good enough ball skills to grab some interceptions. Holloman plays with a lot of energy and has a knack for finding the ball.

Cons. Unfortunately Holloman doesn’t jump off the page in any categories such as speed, strength and agility. He’s got average speed and athleticism. He doesn’t shed blockers well and at times can be a little too aggressive. He doesn’t have much recover ability so he probably wont be tracking down ball carriers once they get behind him. He’s strong but hasn’t shown that he can push receivers off their routes when in press coverage.

Grade B+ Holloman was projected to go in the 4th-5th round and possibly as high as round 3. Dallas definitely finds some value drafting him in the sixth round. Holloman has a shot to get on the field because of a unique “in between” set of skills. Holloman can play linebacker and can get on the field in nickel and dime situations. He could be the Jay Ratliff of this draft.

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